Fisherfolk ask DOJ to file raps vs PNoy, others for Iloilo
A fisherfolk federation on Wednesday asked the Department of Justice to investigate and file criminal cases against officials of the National Power Corporation (Napocor) for an oil spill in Iloilo province at the height of super typhoon Yolanda in November.
In a letter to Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, the Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) said due to the government’s “dismal” response to the oil spill, several government officials violated the public’s right to a balanced and healthful ecology.
“We strongly suggest the Department of Justice (DoJ) to investigate and eventually file criminal raps and other appropriate charges against concerned government officials for the environmental disaster that further complicated the situation of Yolanda ravaged fisherfolk and coastal people in Estancia,” the group said.
The group said the following officials should be sued for their “avant-garde failure and display of incompetence in dealing with the oil spill in Estancia:”
– President Benigno Simeon Aquino III
– Department of Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla
– Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Ramon Paje
– Napocor President and Chief Operating Officer (CEO) Ma. Gladys Sta. Rita
– Napocor Vice Presidents Lorna Dy and Katambayan Celino
– Senior Department Manager Manuel Luis Plofino
– Napocor managers Romulado Beltran Sr. and Emmanuel Umali.
The group cited as basis for filing a case against the government officials a joint assessment report dated November 30 of United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
The report revealed that the vessel was carrying 1,400,000 liters of bunker fuel when storm surges hit Napocor’s Power Barge No. 103 during typhoon.
Around 800,000 liters of bunker fuel have spilled into the sea, while 600,000 liters remained in the damaged tanks of Power Barge No. 103 of Napocor.
According to Pamalakaya, the oil has been reported to have spread up to 10 km downstream from Estancia along the coast.
Aside from causing ecological hazards to the fishing community in estancia, the group also stressed certain chemicals contained in the oil that spilled are considered potential carcinogens.
Among the substances that came out of the oil spill were volatile organic compounds (VOCs), aliphatic hydrocarbon compounds, and residual products that can include heavy metals and sulphur compounds. — ELR, GMA News
Source: GMA News